This month’s edition of Marriage Monday is brought to you by The Akinnuoye Family
Michael and I met on his birthday, July 16th, in 2010. I had just moved to Maryland from Tennessee and was working in the mall while I got situated in a new state. Mike came in to buy shoes for him and his brothers for a party, I clearly did not know that this was the case as I gave him much attitude for asking for 3 different sizes. Imagine my frustration on a Friday night at almost closing time with this guy being indecisive (reasons why retail isn’t for me.) Anyways, he finally is ready to check out and makes small talk, asks me what I do for fun etc., when he finds I am new to Maryland and don’t have much of a social life, he asks me to let him take me out sometime. He gives me his number-because I was not “thirsty” and declined to give him mine. From that day, it was history. We texted the next day (Ok, so what I texted him the next day, I wanted to see how the party was) for like the entire 24 hours, and set up our first date.
Fast forward 3 years at my birthday party, Mike gets on one knee and asks me if I would be his wife. This was the day I had dreamed of, of course I said yes. We planned a beautiful Nigerian ceremony which was held on May 22,2015 and we had our traditional white wedding ceremony and reception on May 24,2015 in Pasadena, Maryland outdoor with beautiful views of the Chesapeake Bay. I felt and looked like a queen and seeing the joy in my husband’s eyes as I walked down the aisle was a moment not to be forgotten. We honeymooned in Honolulu, Hawaii before returning to Baltimore where we would begin our new life as one.
Now comes the real part. Almost three months after our honeymoon we find out that we are expecting!!! We were so very happy, we had always planned for a family, but not so soon! A million things went through my mind, we must move, we need a bigger house, will I be a stay at home mom, are we ready financially? Am I ready mentally? Little did I know; our honeymoon phase was ending and we would enter the hardest part of our marriage- THE FIRST YEAR and PARENTING.
Mike and I will be celebrating our second wedding anniversary next month and we are going to CELEBRATE! We feel that we have accomplished a major feat; we have learned so much about one another and it has literally taken me two years to learn how to communicate effectively. My dad always told me the key to a happy marriage is good sex and better communication (yeah, my dad and I are pretty close lol) I had to learn that it is ok to say how you feel and to let your husband know you need help, or in some cases you need attention. Don’t get me wrong, motherhood has been nothing short of amazing and surreal, if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you understand. But when you are a working coupe, life gets to be very hard and romance easily slips away it is a DAILY FIGHT to keep things going. Monday through Friday is the same thing- go to work, come home, cook dinner, play with the baby, put the baby to bed, clean up, shower yourself and go to bed. When the weekend finally comes, all you want to do is relax, also known as do absolutely nothing. Notice, there was no mention of date night or spending quality time with your mate.
After much prayer and intentional conversations with Mike, we have come together to make our marriage more intimate, transparent and fun. Here is what we came up with:
1. We go to bed together, no matter what- Mike works a lot of evenings. He is self-employed so he can stay at home with our daughter on days she isn’t with her grandmother. Other days he is in meetings, so evenings are for admin work and reviewing things etc. This means he sometimes eats dinner late and falls asleep on the couch. Now, I wait for him to eat and if he falls asleep, I wake him to come to bed.
2. We have date night- even if we go for a walk around the neighborhood or get lucky enough to get a sitter we go to dinner. If I am lucky, he goes to the mall with me (lol). We also have established the “Brunch Squad.” Sundays after church we brunch as a family, that way we have some family time once a week regardless of how hectic the week has been.
3. We talk about EVERYTHING- he has always been great at communicating and expressing his feelings (he is in the mental health profession so he has experience) I however, am the “nothing is wrong” and “I am ok” type. No more; Even if I am mad that he left his coffee spoon on the counter again, for the 500th time causing my OCD to kick in, I say something about it. He has agreed that it is not nagging.
4. Lastly, we decided our life does not revolve around our child. Yes, she is the apple of our eyes, our heartbeats, our reason for breathing but one day she will be a teenager who wants us to leave her alone, also prayerfully she will one day be married with her own family. Where will that leave us? TOGETHER, the two of us, like we started. So, we will continue to invest in our marriage and date one another while creating a loving home for her.
If you are married, you are familiar with the age-old question you get every day “How is married life?” My answer was and STILL is: “Marriage is not easy. However, when you are blessed with a help mate, a best friend and someone who lives to love you and make you happy, the challenges are easier to handle and your good days, which believe it or not DO outweigh the bad, are so much better.”